Yauch and the Beastie Boys were the organizers and driving force behind the influential Tibetan Freedom Concerts, and some of their Buddhist-inspired songs from the album Ill Communication appear in Gary Gach’s anthology What Book?!: Buddha Poems from Beat to Hiphop. He also interviewed the Dalai Lama for the Beastie Boys’ short-lived Grand Royal magazine.
Yauch also headed up the film distributorship Oscilloscope Laboratories, which in 2008 put out the Buddhist-themed films Burma VJ: Reporting from a Closed Country and Unmistaken Child. Though active mostly in distribution, he was a film director as well: among other ventures, Yauch helmed the experimental Beastie Boys concert film Awesome; I F—in’ Shot That! (2006) under the pseudonym Nathanial Hörnblowér.
Yauch, who was a practicing Buddhist, is survived by his wife Dechen Wangdu, who was active in Students for a Free Tibet; daughter Tenzin Losel Yauch; and parents Frances and Noel Yauch.
Our condolences to Yauch’s friends and family, and all our fellow fans.